Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hoards - Chelmsford Museum


The  White Horse of Uffington
Our trip on Thursday into Chelmsford for a meal also included a visit to the Marconi building, Chelmsford is where radio began (well maybe), the building is to be developed into flats.  Having some time to kill, and foregoing a trip to the Chinese shop we decided to visit the museum. Chelmsford Museum is  a slightly dull place, could be because of all the Marconi equipment that towers like huge banks of old fashioned computers awash with dials and knobs.  We live in an age now when that tiny square mobile phone in your hand can reach out to the world, but those first morse code dots and dashes was the beginning of it all.
But wandering through the rather dusty history section, which needs a good updating, LS took photos (with his phone) of the gold coins below and my mind is off wandering down the avenues of speculative thought, were these hoards buried in times of trouble, or were they the safest bank around, the dark earth concealing the hidden shine.  Found by detectorists some years back these three hoards revealed themselves to the world.  I like the little story of how the detectorists and the landowner were denied 60 per cent of the value of the coins because....

The Valuation Committee agreed an abatement of the award of sixty per cent on the grounds that the coins had not been reported 'promptly or honestly, as required under the Treasure Act Code of Practice'.  

Mr. Newitt was responsible for discovering all three hoards, two at Great Waltham and one at Great Leighs.  Why the White Horse of Uffington at the top? because if you look closely many of the 'pony' coins have a similarity to the Durotrigian pony at Uffington. Like the enormous Marconi machines taken over by tablets and mobiles, the ponies of the Iron Age were the equivalent of the sports car of today.


The Great Waltham Hoard









A HOARD OF STATERS OF CUNOBELIN AND DUBNOVELLAUNOS
FROM GREAT WALTHAM, ESSEX 

Great Leighs Hoard





Though I love gold, the interest of these coins is in their manufacture, their travel, the hands that held them, part of a history given to those strange Celtic people  who were part of Caesar's army as they marched into Britain and so began 400 hundred years of domination for the British.

9 comments:

  1. Taking a few minutes to catch up with your posts--interrupted by the demands of a huge cat who wishes to be noticed.
    You write of things which are beyond my field of knowledge [art, archaeology, ancient places] but which fascinate me--and all woven into the everyday of walks and tea and domestic upheaval.
    I, too, have one of those chattering 'magpie' minds, endlessly sorting through bits of unresolved clutter. How blessed we are to find a a place or a moment in time when we can rest!

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  2. Lovely to see you MM, must come and visit you more often. I can just imagine you cats winding themselves round your life. Yes is it a blessing or a curse a 'chattering magpie' in our heads ;)

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  3. How very exciting it must be to unearth a hoard like this. And how exciting to think that there are still finds under our feet of which we know nothing.

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    1. Well down this part of England, the tramp of feet from over the continent must have been a common sound, storing ones' valuables must have been difficult.

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  4. I agree with you - it's their history which is so fascinating. If only they could talk, and tell about their travel and the people who held them . . .

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    1. A whole different landscape to see and investigate, need a time travel box!

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  5. Hello Thelma,
    May I suggest that you read the text too quickly (I won't blame you, I too often do the same). In fact they say these coins could have been given by Gallic aristocrats to "Celtic" (either Britons or Gauls) warriors who joined the Gaulish upheaval AGAINST Caesar and later escaped to Britain... What do you think?
    Setu

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    1. Hi Setu, You are quite right about reading too quickly, where I was at when writing in my vague manner was the second hoard which I featured which was probably minted in this country, I was more fascinated by the ponies and there similarity to the Uffington White Horse. There was of course a breakdown in this country when the
      Romans left, and the elite in this country travelled to France to fight, so I presume there was a lot of coming and going on the East coast, which led to these coins being buried. Just as an aside, the Belgic Roman barrows at Bartlow (Bartlow Barrows) might be of interest, largest barrows in this country...

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  6. A link to these fascinating barrows..

    http://www.sheshen-eceni.co.uk/bartlow_info.html

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